As the House Investigative Committee examining two audits by the Hawaii Office of the Auditor nears the end of its work, it is seeking more information on several contracts related to the Honolulu rail project.

On Wednesday Chair Della Au Belatti asked for and received support by most of her committee members to issue a subpoena for the “appropriate person” at the state’s Department of Accounting and General Services to learn more about the contracts.

The Legislature in 2017 approved spending $1 million for the audit of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. The contracts in question, according to Belatti, were for Randall Lee, Dan Hanagami and accounting firms BKD and Baker Tilly.

As Hawaii News Now reported in 2019, State Auditor Les Kondo hired Lee and Hanagami to work on the rail audit but that they were soon terminated.

Della Au Belatti at the Dec. 15 House briefing on state audits.
Committee Chair Della Au Belatti has questions about the state auditor’s audit on rail. Screenshot/2021

Belatti, the House of Representatives majority leader, did not provide much detail on the latest subpoena. But at an October briefing the House panel raised concerns about what members described as omissions in the rail audits regarding change orders.

Rep. Dale Kobayashi voted against issuing the subpoena, saying the rail audits are not within the scope of the committee’s work, which is focused on the audits of the Agribusiness Development Corporation and a special fund used by the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Belatti wants to hear from DAGS this month. She also said Dec. 22 is the deadline for the ADC, the DLNR and Kondo’s office to offer any “closing statements” to the committee.

A report on the committee’s findings and recommendations is due to the Legislature next month.

Quality journalism takes time.

A story that takes fives minutes to read often takes days to report.
 
Quality journalism takes time and resources to produce, but with support from readers like you, Civil Beat can investigate issues and publish stories that are otherwise difficult to fund.
 
Become a donor and help support Civil Beat’s next investigation.

About the Author